Dr. Biol.Hum. Robert Schleip of Ulm University, and Research Director of the European Rolfing Association e.V., was recently awarded the prestigious Vladamir Janda Prize for Musculo-skeletal Medicine in Leipzig. The award is presented by the German Society for Manual Medicine (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Manuelle Medizin), the Society of Manual Medicine Physicians (Ärztegesellschaft für Manuelle Medizin), as and the Physiobörse (Wittlich) every two years.
Dr. Schleip’s contribution was to prove that human fascia is regularly populated with myofibro-blasts, cells similar to those found in smooth muscle, and already well known for their role in wound healing, as well as pathologies involving chronic tissue contraction. Additionally, the fascia of the lower back has also been shown to posses a particularly high concentration of such contractile cells. While current doctrine assigns fascia, the dense white-coloured connective tissue that surrounds muscles and many other structures in the human body, a purely passive role in the transmission of force, this discovery opens the door for future fascial research to establish new directions in the understanding and treatment of back pain.